My lap top is dead. 

So this means I’ve lost everything. Photos for my business, my stocktakes, my book keeping, my designs, my packaging; everything. 

I’m devo. 

It also means I can’t blog with photos til I get a new one. 

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Shelter Saturdays

Shelter Saturdays are back in 2015

Sorry Its been a while guys and dolls. My man and I have been unfortunately unwell with something very like whooping cough. We had a break from the shelter as we didn’t want to infect any other volunteers. So this weekend when we did finally go we ended up doing a catch up shoot. We took 82 photos in one 5 hour session and 75 are still available for adoption when we last checked. Whilst des was taking photos, I was playing with cute dogs and helping customers find the right cat to adopt. I helped get 3 cats adopted all by myself. Its not part of my normal job, but its something I would like to do more of, as I enjoy it immensely.

Here’s some photos of me and some cute dogs.

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The top 3 photos are of Winston and I. The bottom 2 pictures are of Jonah and I. 

So many adoptable sweeties this week. I hope you all enjoy these posts from the shelter, as I truly do enjoy my volunteer job.

This weeks 75 adoptables:

So all of these cuties and more are available to adopt from Animal Welfare League Queensland  (AWLQLD)

Warra Shelter at 523 Telegraph Road, Bracken Ridge. 

Check the website to see who is still available.

Growing Up A Tea Junkie

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I’m not English, Im Australian and yet Tea has been a staple for my entire life. I grew up poor and yet we always had tea. Tea was one of those comforting warm things that everyone had and everyone needed.

It was a winter drink and a summer drink. There was no occasion too big or too small that didn’t have cause for tea. I have drunk tea at weddings and wakes, in cyclones and storms, and in heat waves as well as cold snaps.

I’ve always seen tea as the elixir of life. The idea that the holy grail was a chalice seemed silly. It had to be a tea cup, right?

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I have always enjoyed being able to cook. It was a necessity for me growing up. If i was hungry, I had to make something many times as mum was at work or not hungry. We sort of grew up together in a way. Part of cooking is being a hostess and being a hostess meant making tea. Ive always been very interested in the Japanese Tea Ceremony and one day I’ll learn how to do it properly.

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After everything that has happened to me in the last two years (being shot, homeless etc) I finally found a house with my love and began to nest. As part of my nesting I acquired a range of tea. My man loves coffee and I have slowly gotten him on to tea as well. However coffee will always be his first love and I’m okay with that.

My tea collection has grown substantially and I even own things I wouldn’t have chosen for myself purely for the enjoyment of my guests. For example Liz likes Lady Grey and so I own it, purely for her. Sheryl doesn’t like caffeinated beverages so I have a large range of flavoured teas for her to chose from. I feel being a good hostess is about having the things your guests desire and so I also always have homemade brownies or cake in the freezer.

My tea collection currently (as at 10/02/2015) sits at the glorious number of 48.

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Here is my collection.

My personal favourites are the Dilmah Moroccan Mint, Madame Flavour Mint Lavender Tisane and the Nerada Organics Rose Hip teas. I also love white tea but don’t currently have any. The tea I drink the most is ordinary boring black tea. In summer I make my own special iced teas and I also love the Nerada Ice tea but with more water in it than they recommend as its quite sweet. The Chrysanthemum tea is also AMAZING. I love it watered down and cold on a hot day. Its a wonderful pick me up.

I also have chai tea spice and some one of sachets of trial teas. I have 5 from T2 (Tea Too) but to be honest, they aren’t in my favourites. I find they taste lovely in store, but never quite as nice at home. I find them to be a bit strong and a bit overwhelming. However I keep them around as I know Beth likes the Turkish Apple Chunky.

I personally can’t imagine a life without tea. It soothes and calms and brings people together, it bonds people and divides them. It is the essence of life, friends and family. Some people say there is nothing a good cup of tea can’t fix. Im not sure about that, but it is the first thing I crave every morning right after waking. I’ve tried a range of teas to help me sleep too. Tea is my one true addiction.

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(source: This folded mind)

Tea has been around for centuries and I hope it will always be around for people to enjoy.

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This morning I have had a Tetley Assam, so far.

I like my tea black with two raw sugars, thanks.

Being a Spoonie; What you need to know.

Spoonie? Whats that?

Ive been asked that many a time in the last year. In this blog post I’ll try to articulate what being a spoonie is, what it means in general and what it means for me.

The urban dictionary’s definition is: 

A person living with chronic illness, that identifies with Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory.
Spoonies are people that live with chronic illness; theoretically measuring personal daily abilities much as one would measure the proper amount of spoons needed for an event or occasion… sometimes having an abundance, other times coming up short.
The article by Christine Miserandino is a very interesting one, in which she explains what it’s like to live with chronic illness to a friend, and uses a handful of spoons to demonstrate.

For example, daily activities that healthy people tend not to think about take tolls on people with chronic illness. You start the day with a certain number of spoons, and play your day around not running out. Socializing might cost spoons, using the stairs might cost spoons, lifting things might cost spoons, etc.
Skylar: It’s a low spoons day today, I don’t think I’ll go out.
Fallon: You’re a spoonie? I didn’t know. Well, I hope you feel better tomorrow. Can I do anything for you?
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Most common types of Spoonies:
The most common types of spoonies I’ve seen/ found are those with motor neuron diseases, Fibromyalgia, lupus and other chronic illnesses including auto immune diseases. I also have friends with multiple sclerosis and other conditions who also consider themselves spoonies. What all of these things have in common include muscle stiffness, pain, tiredness and a lack of energy.
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(That’s my personal shoulder x-ray, featuring shrapnel)
How do I identify with being a spoonie?
I dont have a disease.
In December 2013 I was shot in my left shoulder, breaking my clavicle (collar bone), collapsing my lung and leaving me with inoperable shrapnel under my clavicle and in my plural cavity (under my lung). I have full movement in my shoulder and my lung has healed, but I have constant pain, muscle stiffness and I’m constantly tired with very little energy or motivation. Its so difficult to explain my symptoms to those around me. Even my doctors are baffled by my constant pain. There is currently no medical reason for me to be in pain. We have tried multiple medications, pain killers etc. I have had physio therapy and do daily stretches as well as had many scans to find the problem. I get sick easier than other people for some reason as well. Chronic Pain is recognised as part of “The Spoon Theory” and this is me in a nutshell .
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While I’m typing up this blog post I’m sitting here with my tens machine (electronic pulse machine that stimulates my muscles) on and codeine in my system, in a butt stack of pain. I dont complain. I don’t tell people that I’m in pain 24/ 7. I dont feel like complaining helps me feel better or helps anyone else understand. And I know my fellow spoonies feel the same way.
Our illnesses may be invisible, but we are in pain. And sometimes peoples lack of sensitivity to our condition is something that only adds to the shitty way we feel.
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Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.-Napoleon Bonaparte
Spoonies are fighters! We keep going. We learn our limits and we work hard keeping our pain in check and lives still moving forward. Sometimes it isn’t as possible as it should be. We run out of energy, we run out of patience, we run out of time and we have to make tough choices.
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How much can I actually achieve in one day and what will be the cost?
Its one question that sticks in our heads every time we move, let alone finish a task. Its always on our minds. Even the smallest thing can cost us. Those living around us can never truly understand, but they can do small things to help us. Asking us what we would like help with is a good start. ASKING not assuming. Ive always said “Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups”. And “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me”. Always ask if you can help, but don’t push the question too hard. Often we can feel like we are being patronised and we do have the ability to snap. We may want your help, but it has to be on our terms, not yours. As a spoonie don’t be afraid to ask for help. Not asking for help when you need it can cost more for your bodies and minds than needed.
Remember this:
 
YOU ARE NOT LAZY.
YOU ARE TIRED.
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TRYING IS ENOUGH.
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YOU ARE ENOUGH.
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You MUST be kind to yourself.
The Struggle is REAL. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
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So to my fellow spoonies I say “I LOVE YOU and keep on keeping on”.
If you need a rant, or a chat. IM HERE. just send me a message.
You are never alone.

Safe and Unsafe Foods for Cats

A lot of the time our pets will sit at our feet and beg for food. However many of us are unaware of what we can and can’t give our pets. Here I start with cats…

INTRODUCING NEW FOODS

When introducing new foods to your cat, you should expect her to have a little bit of gastrointestinal upset. If it’s a food they’ve never had before, their bodies may not be used to digesting it and they can be a little finicky about what they eat. Give them some variety to see what they like and make sure to do everything in moderation.

Check their stools if you’re concerned.

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1. Salmon

Its fish, cats love fish. Its also good for them. A good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can be a delicious and tasty treat for cats and is often already found in commercial cat food, while some cat-friendly human foods can be fed to your cat raw, make sure to give only cooked salmon, or smoked is also fine.

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2.  Spinach

Full of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and K, iron and calcium, spinach can be a healthy, cat-friendly treat but in general they wont eat it by itself out of your hand, its easier to add it to a meal for them. However, if your cat has history of calcium oxalate bladder stones, you should avoid giving them spinach.

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3. Fish Oils

According to Emmy-award winning veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber, while pet parents tend to get away with giving their dog people food more often than cats, fish oil is something that can help benefit both species. With a variety of options, including salmon and cod liver oil, the omega 3s in fish oil can help prevent dry skin in the winter and keep your cat’s coat healthy throughout the year.  For me this was a no brainer, but everyone is different.

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4. Eggs

 Another good source of protein and B vitamins, eggs can be found in many cat foods and are safe for your feline to eat, but order to reduce the risk of food borne diseases, be sure to cook any eggs you feed your cat.

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5.  Cantaloupe/ Rockmelon

High in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which helps maintain healthy skin and eye health, cantaloupe is one of several cat-safe fruits. Cats however don’t actually have a “sweet tooth” per say.

6. Chicken

Because cats are obligate carnivores and require diets that contain mostly meat (unlike dogs that are omnivores and can live off of a variety of different foods), their bodies aren’t able to digest fibrous foods as easily as dogs and don’t always like the variety of people foods that dogs do. However, any type of meat, like chicken, is right up their alley.A good source of lean protein, chicken can be a great choice for your cat, as long as it is cooked thoroughly and the skin, which can be fatty, is removed before feeding it to your cat. Chicken is another ingredient often found in commercial cat foods. Another no brainer really. Although I have had a cat allergic to chicken, so always make sure your pet is coping well with the food you do give it.

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7. Banana

High in potassium and soluble fiber, bananas are a cat-safe snack and one of my cats is a junkie. Although bananas are a healthy treat, they (like all items on this list) should make up no more than ten percent of your cat’s daily calorie intake as they are high in fiber and may make the pet poop more.

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8. Oatmeal

A source of energy and B vitamins for your pet, oatmeal is another human food that can be found in commercial cat foods. However, just because oatmeal may be cat-safe, not every feline will like it—or any type of human food—so you’ll want to introduce these foods slowly and make sure they like them before incorporating them into a regular part of your cat’s diet. My cats love warm oatmeal/ porridge in winter.

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9.  Pumpkin

Finally, a reason to hang on to that canned pumpkin or save your left overs after a lovely roast meal. Low in calories and high in fiber, incorporating pumpkin into cat treats is both safe and healthy and mine love it.

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10.  Cheese

If your cat shows an interest in this feline-friendly food, the best thing is feeding them a hard cheese, like cheddar, Swiss or Gouda. These cheeses are high in calcium and protein and can be easily baked into treats or fed to your cat raw in small amounts. I am personally lactose intolerant and my cats will also drink soy, or lactose free milk and cheese or yoghurt happily.

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11. Bread

A good source of protein and fiber, some cats like to snack on bread, a feline-friendly human food. Be sure however that your pet doesn’t eat too much. Their tummies swell after drinking water and they feel super full. My cats have vomited after gobbling their way through a loaf of bread in the night.

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12. Apples

High in fiber and vitamin C, apples are another food cats can eat, as long as they’re fed to your cat without the skin. Similarly to feeding dogs people food, you’ll want to avoid any type of seasonings when you give your cat human food.

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13.  Blueberries

A good source of vitamins A and C, blueberries can be found in some cat foods and some felines may even like to snack on frozen blueberries. As mentioned, you’ll want to limit the amount of treats you give your cat each day, even if they’re healthy. Limit treats to 20 calories each day, which would be two teaspoons of cooked salmon or chicken or 25 blueberries, but you wouldn’t want to give them all of those berries as it will give your pet the runs. If your cat seems to be gaining weight as a result of the human food treats, however, you’ll want to scale back on the amount of treats you’re feeding them.

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14. Peas

High in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A, peas are another cat-safe human food that is often found in commercial cat foods but can be fed to your cat frozen or raw.  I have had several cats who have liked peas.

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15. Turkey

Another lean protein, turkey, including cooked turkey breast or sliced deli meat, is a cat-safe snack. Personally i avoid the processed kind and just give them scraps when i cook a turkey. They go nuts for it.

Things harmful to cats: 

While we may consider cats to be members of our family, treating them as such at mealtimes can cause more injury to them than just spoiling their dinners. Here’s a look at the five most dangerous foods for your cat, how they affect their bodies, and what to do in case of an emergency.

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1. Onions/ Garlic

Onions and garlic can cause the destruction of red blood cells and lead to anemia in cats, Cats tend to be much pickier eaters as opposed to dogs, but we’ve seen cats eat an entire cup of caramelized onions. Although the size of the dose determines the level of poison,  lethargy and a reduced appetite can be symptoms of a toxic reaction. The sooner you diagnose potential poisoning in cats the better, so if they’re acting strangely don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian.

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2. Raw Eggs

Similarly to people, consumption of raw eggs can lead to salmonella in cats. Symptoms of the disease will vary but can include vomitingdiarrhea and lethargy. Salmonella can also be transmitted to humans from animals, making it even more important to keep your cat away from eggs and to properly wash your hands after baking or cooking with raw eggs.

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3. Alcohol

Cats tend to be attracted to drinks with milk or cream in them, making your holiday White Russian a potentially toxic substance if consumed by your pet. Cocktails aside, alcohol can also be found in desserts and can be created in your cat’s stomach if they ingest homemade or store bought yeast dough used in making bread, rolls, and pizza. Even small amount of alcohol (both ingested through alcoholic beverages and produced in the stomach) can be life threatening, making it important to call your vet before you notice any serious poisoning symptoms like seizures.

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4. Raw Fish